Deleted Scene-Netherfield Park: Fitzwilliam Darcy ~ Undone

This deleted scene starts with the familiar portion of the story where Caroline Bingley, desperate for Mr. Darcy's attention, demands that Elizabeth walk about the room with her at Netherfield Park.

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The stark contrast between the two became glaringly apparent the previous evening when he’d ignored Miss Bingley completely and read a book. With an abruptness, which startled everyone, she insisted Elizabeth parade about the room with her. In some small-minded way she knew the only way his eyes would follow her was if Elizabeth remained tethered to her side. And they had. He’d unconsciously closed his book and watched them, appreciating how Elizabeth’s gown moved over her body. He found himself envying the very cloth that touched her skin like a lover, caressing every curve and luscious line.

When the two women had crossed in front of the fireplace his mouth had gone completely dry at the sight of Elizabeth's lithe figure outlined through her muslin gown. His greedy eyes had soaked in every detail, committing them to memory. 
At that exact moment, Richard had interrupted his thoughts with a bawdy remark and he'd been forced to shift in his chair in an attempt to hide his obvious desire, thankful he'd placed the book on his lap rather than on the table when he first started watching them.

Upon noticing his attention, Miss Bingley immediately invited him to join them. Still struggling to control his unruly libido, he'd responded with a polite rejoinder of how they had only two motives for walking about and by joining them, he would only interfere with their grand design.

You should have stayed silent cousin. Richard teased.

Aren’t you dining with Colonel Foster?

I am, but it’s much more fun to imagine you fumbling around Miss Bennet. Now you’ve created a conundrum.

If you hadn’t asked if the light of the fireplace illuminated Elizabeth’s figure I’d have had better control of my thoughts.

I doubt very much I am the reason for your current dilemma. I suggest you take things into your own hand for a speedy resolution.

Sod off, Richard.

He could still hear his cousin laughing even though Richard had stopped their conversation. When Miss Bingley asked Elizabeth if she understood the meaning of Mr. Darcy’s comment, Elizabeth had given him a startled glance and self consciously smoothed her gown. She'd moved so she no longer stood in front of the fireplace and said, with only a slight quiver in her voice, “Not at all. I haven't the slightest idea."

"Oh, come now, Eliza. Where are your pert opinions when I require them the most."

Elizabeth turned her gaze from him back to Caroline. "I may not understand the meaning of Mr. Darcy's comments, however 'illuminating' they might be, but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it."

Her specific word choice, illuminating, had tension coiling about his spine. First she exhibited signs of not only remembering aspects of the dream he'd created in her mind and physically manifested the lovers mark he'd left on her collarbone, but now she'd hinted at having heard his silent conversation with Richard. How was that even possible? Dare he enter her dreams again as a means of unfolding the mystery that was Elizabeth Bennet? His body tightened at the mere thought of revisiting her without any physical restraints, and then balked. No! He was a gentleman. He'd strayed once and would not do it again. He had to gain control of his emotions and find another way to assuage his curiosity. 

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I changed this scene back to the more time-honored version because I wasn't ready for Elizabeth to realize she could commune solely with her mind. She does later on, but we discover that she has to have a close and trusting relationship with that person, and the ability for sharing thoughts is something learned. A new muscle skill she needs to hone. Therefore, as Mr. Darcy hasn't gained her trust, she wouldn't have been able to 'hear' his thoughts.

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